Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker – Part 2

In the first section we read how, over time, human beings have become more and more individualized and less guided by norms. We also read how homemakers of today are still influenced by the social expectations set up during the Victorian era, but that we can become free of these expectations by adopting the view that we have in some ways chosen our life paths. We ended with the question, “What effect does the homemaker have on history?” Now we’ll explore the beginnings of the answer to that question, in pages 7-10.

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The New Mysteries

Before modern times, freedom did not exist as it does today. The Mystery Centers (the two most well known and last of the ancient mystery centers were Delphi and Ephesus) provided norms for all aspects of life — agriculture, religion, education, and so on. People were more open to the spiritual world at that time, and its influence guided human activity more directly than today.

At a certain point, freedom needed to arise in human beings, and so independent thinking arose, exemplified in the work of Plato and Aristotle. The spiritual world still strongly influenced the religious sphere, but no longer the other aspects of daily life. There were no more “directions from above.”

Today, religions, governments, and other cultural groups can provide insights to help us, but a new Mystery culture must be created through individual effort — in the home. “For where homemakers are working out of spiritual understanding, that is where the new society will arise. . . . The homemaker’s whole existence stands at the centre of one of the greatest changes ever to take place in human history.”

A renewal of civilization is possible if we can incorporate the spiritual back into our culture. We must realize that we are inherently spiritual beings, and that through love and freedom we can properly order civilization. If we only have freedom, then will have chaos; if we only have love, then we will have compulsion. The homemaker can create renewal by working with these ideas within the most basic social structure, the family.

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If the homemaker can lead a cultural renewal, where will he or she find the strength for this task, and what is the path of development and insight to assist in this work? We’ll look at these questions next time.

Manfred Schmidt-Brabant, The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker, Temple Lodge, 1996.

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8 Comments

Filed under Anthroposophy, Books, Deep Thoughts, Homemaking, Parenting, Religion

8 responses to “Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker – Part 2

  1. Eve

    Interesting series, I’m enjoying this. I noticed that among the comments on your first article in this series, several of you younger mothers commented about how much a toll it took to move away from family, and to have to replace that support with other social supports.

    I wonder about this, especially as I have children coming up to launching again. Our married children have chosen to stay nearby and are quite close to us and their siblings; however, the two I have who were adopted much older and have their abandonment and isolation ingrained tend to move (even run) away. I wonder about what having few or no familial supports handy has done to our culture? What is it doing to women?

    I never had maternal support on either side of our families, and so have had to do so much on my own, in spite of the fact that our mothers live in state. I believe this is a spiritual and relational disconnect played out in many families these days. But then, seeing as our whole nation is built on the rending of families, I wonder if it’s part of our national inheritance? And is it something we want to continue to choose, or with globalization, is the spirit trying to lead us back home, to connectedness?

    Thoughts? Am I making any sense?

  2. Eve: Rudolf Steiner and people who have studied his work have a lot to say about the destiny of America. I like to think that we are all about metamorphosis: for example, we took our (primarily, initially) European background and transformed it into democracy, among other things. We transformed an initial group of colonists who were anything but tolerant and built a nation that claims to be a melting pot of all peoples. Maybe our current problem with broken families and lack of familial support is our next metamorphic challenge as a nation and a culture.

  3. Mon

    I’m so glad you’re writing about this as it’s making me consider my own position.

    Although, I’m unsure.

    As a new mother, talk of the family as the base for spirituality resonates with me. On the other hand, as a child of an emotionally broken home and a seeker, I’m unconvinced that the family is the base of sacredness that many hail it to be. Can it be? Sure, but I feel other close-knit groups are just as viable options for launching an interconnectedness. Heck, perhaps even nore so.

    It feels that the era of the Individual is coming to pass. This could mean we have decades to go, but there is something in the air to me, something that says, its peak has been climbed and we’re on the descend.

    But where next? Are we going full circle?
    Perhaps the problems aren’t so much lack of familial support, but lack of tribal support. When one needs to break from the family, where does one go?

    I just believe in change and that systems have their time, in the great big scheme of things.

    Hope I haven’t strayed too far off topic. ?! 🙂

  4. I’m don’t have much time to comment, but I just wanted to let you know I’m enjoying this series you’re writing about The Spiritual Tasks of The Homemaker. Thank you for sharing this. I’m very encouraged by what I’m reading.

  5. Nana

    By The Power Vested In Me By My Age, I Hereby Declare All Those Who Heretofore Have Been Known As Homemakers Shall Now Be Known As Chief Executive Officer of Domestic Operations, effective immediately. Let all those who accept this esteemed Title click their Ruby Slippers and repeat after me: “There’s No Place Like Home!” “Home Sweet Home!” “Home On The Range!” “Home Is Where The Heart Is!”

  6. Mon: No, I think that is the topic. Maybe we just need to redefine what “family” and “home” means.

    Dawn: I’m glad it’s encouraging!

    Nana: OK, from now on I’ll be Anthromama, CEODO.

  7. I agree with this completely, how can we create a conscious spiritual society if we as “homemakers” are not conscious in our work at home? What influence does it have on our children if we rush from one activity to the next, prepare meals in a microwave, and eat in front of the television or in the car?By creating a home that is a haven from over-activity, a peaceful place where we can gather away from the outside world and process open and lovingly with one another, we can begin to create the world we wish to see. My life before children was a life of activism, always fighting to change the world. When I became a mother (very young-age 22) I began to wonder what is really the most effective way to change society? My focus has been to do things on a much more “local” scale (as in: my own home). I have called my movement a “toilet paper revolution”. Where I am more effective in the world by the choices I make at home and for my family, down to every last detail; from peaceful parenting to using handkerchiefs instead of tissues in a box- to eating meals sitting down at a table to buying toilet paper made from recycled paper. Is this really affecting the rest of the world? What am I doing to be a face in the bigger picture? …By creating the change I wish to see in the world…*edit* I had to snip out the rest of my ramblings- I’ll save it for another time.

  8. Lisa Anne: I like your ramblings 🙂 Unfortunately we don’t get a consciousness exemption in the home…though I remember very well when I had an office job and came home at night, wanting to just veg out. Probably more a sign of an unhealthy job than a true desire for unconsciousness, but I can tell you that my home wasn’t necessarily very homey back then. The only way I changed that was to change myself, and the decisions as you mentioned followed on.

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